I found Professors Wohl's and Schmiechen's replies informative and stimulating. Unfortunately I do not think they would upset the dreadful Laing. Before I go on to explain why, however, I should correct two misunderstandings.
Firstly: I offered “Laing's theorem” as a hypothesis, not necessarily as my view. Nowhere in my original article did I indicate my “acceptance” of it (Wohl). It is simply an idea to be tested, as a possible explanation for what I do regard as high Victorian Britain's artistic poverty, of which more in a moment. Secondly: I do not regard myself as a “basher” of Victorianism, of the kind that used to be common a few years ago. That is Professor Schmiechen's charge. As I understand and indeed remember it, the old bashers deplored Victorian taste. I on the contrary have a consuming passion for it. In particular, I have a high regard for Victorian architecture, which is one of the two areas I specifically exempted (though Professor Wohl has missed this) from my strictures against the quality of the high Victorians' cultural achievement. For what it is worth — and it is not worth much, being only my own personal opinion, but I feel I need to establish my credentials here — I would place All Saint's, Margaret Street, London, by Butterfield, high on my list of the most inspiring buildings anywhere in the world, and St. Mary's Church, Studley Royal, Yorkshire, by Burges, among the half-dozen most beautiful. There is dedication for you. This may lower one or two philo-Victorians' hackles. I hope so.